Published On: Fri, May 26th, 2023
World | 2,121 views

Japan knife and gun attack leaves four dead in Nagano | World | News

Police have arrested a man after a rare shooting and stabbing rampage left four people dead in Japan. The alleged killer stabbed a woman before shooting police officers with a hunting rifle. Later it emerged that a fourth victim had been killed – an elderly woman – however it is not clear how she died.

Police have named the suspect as Masanori Aoki, the 31-year-old son of the speaker of Nakano city’s assembly.

A witness told NHK public television that a woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers as they arrived at the scene in Nakano city in the prefecture of Nagano.

According to Kyodo News, the witness asked him: “Why would you do such a thing?” with the perpetrator replying: I killed her because I wanted to.”

The assailant then baricaded himself in his father’s house in Nakamo city, with his mother and aunt.

His father, Masamichi Aoki, was not present in the home.

The suspect was alleged to have committed the initial killing of a woman using a footlong blade.

Following the incident three were taken to a nearby hospital, where the woman was later pronounced dead, police said.

The two police officers also died later, according to NHK.

The fourth person – believed to be the elderly woman – who was injured, could not be rescued because she was near where the suspect was holed up.

Television footage on NHK showed uniformed police wearing bulletproof vests and carrying shields with an ambulance nearby.

Pictures also showed police cars racing to the scene.

Another witness said: “I heard sirens from ambulances and police cars.

“There was an announcement via a loudspeaker calling on people to stay indoors because there was a shotgun shooting.”

City officials urged those in the area to stay home.

Gun violence is rare in Japan, which has one of the lowest gun crime rates in the world as a result of extremely strict laws relating to firearms control.

The last time multiple police officers were shot dead in the country was in 1990, after a gang-related incident in the Okinawa prefecture.

Officials said the alleged killer had a firearm permit.

Civilians are only allowed to own hunting rifles and airguns on the multi-island nation and people have to undergo a strict exam and mental health tests in order to buy a gun there.

In recent years, there have been some high-profile cases involving random knifings on subways and arson attacks, and there is growing concern about homemade guns and explosives.

The nation was shocked last year when Shinzo Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot dead during a campaign speech in Nara.

Even in that instance however, the attacker used a handmade gun.

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